January’s playlist in my car consisted of only one CD. The Essential Stan Getz.

Not sure why I gravitated towards this for 2017, but it was like I had no choice. Every time a different song came on, I couldn’t stop it.

My father loved Stan Getz.

Maybe that’s why I couldn’t stop it. Every time a different song came on, it was like my father himself, was sitting next to me in the car.

My father had a gift in his older age. It was a gift that reminded me that every time I was going through a tough time, it was going to be okay. I can’t explain it. He just had a way of making me feel that way, when I needed it most.

There was the time I had back surgery. I had never had surgery before like this and frankly was pretty nervous about going under. As they wheeled me off, there he stood in the hallway with his outstretched hand and a look in his eyes that said, it’s going to be okay.

Clutching his hand momentarily, I will never forget that look. He meant it like he not only believed it would be okay, but like he already knew it would be okay.

I recall another time where the stress of my job had reached a place of overwhelming concern. I was driving home and on a whim, decided to stop by my parents and say hello.

It was a dark and rainy night that I can recall and my heart was heavy with stress. It was the kind of stress that can be debilitating. I tend to overanalyze things too often. That’s never good. You know what they say, paralysis from analysis.

But I digress.

Of course, as I arrived that evening, the radio was on and jazz was playing.

I am not even sure how it came up, but it probably didn’t take much for my stress to spill all out of me. It was no match for my father. Jazz was on the radio.

If I remember anything about the words my father spoke to me that night it was this, it’s going to be okay. An incredibly observant listener, he had a way, like no other, of bringing a rational perspective to my mindset.

And like that night and so many others, I would survive to live another day thanks to my father, his jazz, and his gift of putting me at ease by modeling perspective that stemmed from a sound mind.

I miss my father terribly.

But perhaps this is why Stan Getz was my January playlist. Maybe just maybe, it was my father, yet again, reminding me of the power of giving myself permission to taking a step back from the emotion, and in-turn, applying some sound thought to the equation.

A friend once told me that emotion knows not logic and logic knows not emotion, but together.. they equal wisdom.

I like this thought. No wonder I gravitated towards it [Stan Getz] for my January playlist. It was an essential reminder, and a timely one at that.

This makes me think, maybe I need a little more jazz in my life. Maybe now though, [with jazz playing in the background] I can finally begin to cash in on all these lessons my father taught me. He passed away in 2003. And by the way, by cashing in, I mean listening.

Because if I had, I could have saved myself a whole lot of undue stress and in-turn, enjoyed a whole lot more jazz.

You know, there sure is a lot of emotion in society right now. And that is not always a bad thing. But, maybe we all need a little more jazz, too. I know I do.